Changes of the rules will make the Continental Cup more dramatic and attractive

The Continental Cup which will be held in Ostrava in September 2018 will have new competition format. It was agreed on by the IAAF Council at their meeting in Monaco last weekend. What specific changes are we talking about?

“New competition format should bring more drama not only in single events but also in the development of the continuous ranking of teams. It should also bring more fun for the spectators at the venue as well as the TV viewers,” said Libor Varhaník, LOC chairman of the Continental Cup 2018. The Continental Cup is a team competition and it is always two best athletes of each event representing each continent and according to ranking they bring points to a particular continental team – Europe, Africa, Americas and Australia – Oceania. The highest score then decides about the winning team.

What major changes are there?

The role of the team captains.

“The team spirit will be supported by the team captains who will not be competing but only motivating and actively influencing the final score of their team and giving the athletes some useful tips and tricks and encouraging their performances,” explains Varhanik and adds: “The captains will have two jokers for each day of the competition which allow them to place a bet on the winning athlete of one male and one female event. In case of winning the bet, their team will gain a double number of points.” You can look forward to active participation of Colin Jaskson for team Europe, Mike Powell for team Americas, Jane Pittman for team Australia-Oceania and Nezha Bidouane for team Africa.

Changes in event´s scoring

There are changes in scoring of individual events to support the team spirit. The team´s ranking will be determined according to ranking of athletes representing each continent in individual events. The teams will be given score in 8-6-4-2 format for each event.

The system of horizontal jumps, throws and puts

Every athlete will have three attempts in throws, puts, long jump and triple jump. The fourth attempt will be given only to the best athlete in each team. So in fourth attempts there will always be the best athlete of team Europe competing against the best athlete from teams Africa, Americas or Australia – Oceania. Depending on the score in the fourth attempt, only two best athletes in particular event will compete in the final – fifth attempt. The final attempt will also decide on the overall winner of the whole event.

Long runs

3000 Metres and 3000 Metres Steeplechase will take a form of elimination race. All runners will run the first 1400 metres together, after that only the last runner of each round will be eliminated. As a result, there will be four runners in the last round. On the other hand, all runners will gain points for their team.

Mixed relay

The last news is the 4x400 Metres Mixed Relay. There will be two female and two male athletes representing each continent. “The final ranking is a question of team tactics and it will be very interesting to see who will run in each relay round,” adds Varhaník.

“New competition rules support the team spirit and dedication to the particular continent,” says Libor Varhaník, the LOC Chairman of the Continental Cup 2018 in Ostrava and adds: “I believe the Continental Cup in this new form will meet our expectations and will be a magnificent spectacle for the visitors as well as an attractive competition for the athletes and their captains. Being the host and the organiser of the Continental Cup 2018, we are delighted to be a part of the ongoing changes in athletics and also to see that the IAAF agreed on some of our suggested changes in the competition rules,” adds Varhaník.